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state.gov | Secretary Antony J. Blinken At McCain Institute's 2024 Sedona Forum Keynote Conversation with Senator Mitt Romney (03.05.24)
ROMNEY:...First, I'm going to say up top, with regards to the trip to the Middle East, give us the lowdown, give us the rundown. What is happening there?  What's happening among the Israeli people?  What are—what is Bibi Netanyahu thinking? What's happening with Hamas? What kind of a deal has been put on the table?  What's—what is—the people and the leadership in Qatar—see, I can get all my questions out. (Laughter.) I mean, give us a full lay of the land, and then we can sort of probe areas of interest.
BLINKEN: Mitt, thank you. And before trying to tackle that multi-part question—(laughter)—actually, it sounds like—
ROMNEY: It's—it's just the lay of the land.
"dinner with Cindy"
ROMNEY: Why has the PR been so awful? I know that's not your area of expertise, but you have to have some thoughts on that, which is, I mean, as you've said, why has Hamas disappeared in terms of public perception? An offer is on the table to have a ceasefire, and yet the world is screaming about Israel.  It's like, why are they not screaming about Hamas?  Accept the ceasefire and bring home the hostages.  Instead, it's all the other way around. I mean, typically the Israelis are good at PR. What's happened here? How have they—how have they—and we—been so ineffective at communicating the realities there and our point of view?
BLINKEN: Look, I mean, there are two things.  One is that, look, there is an inescapable reality, and that is the inescapable reality of people who have and continue to suffer grievously in Gaza. And that's real and we have to—have to—be focused on that and attentive to that.
3 May: NBC News | World Food Programme Director Cindy McCain: Northern Gaza is in a 'full-blown famine'-video
4 May: NY Yella Cake | Parts of Gaza in 'Full-Blown Famine,' U.N. Aid Official Says
5 May: CNN | 'Full-blown famine' happening in Gaza, WFP warns, amid fresh push for truce
6 May: USNews | The UN Says There's 'Full-Blown Famine' in Northern Gaza. What Does That Mean?
At the same time, how this narrative has evolved, yeah, it's a great question. I don't have a good answer to that. One can speculate about what some of the causes might be. I don't know. I can tell you this—and we were talking about this a little bit over dinner with Cindy. I think in my time in Washington, which is a little bit over 30 years, the single biggest change has been in the information environment. And when I started out in the early 1990s, everyone did the same thing. You woke up in the morning, you opened the door of your apartment or your house, you picked up a hard copy of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal. And then if you had a television in your office, you turned it on at 6:30 or 7 o'clock and watched the national network news.

Now, of course, we are on an intravenous feed of information with new impulses, inputs every millisecond.  And of course, the way this has played out on social media has dominated the narrative. And you have a social media ecosystem environment in which context, history, facts get lost, and the emotion, the impact of images dominates. And we can't—we can't discount that, but I think it also has a very, very, very challenging effect on the narrative.
[...]

jfc
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 01:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many days until YouTube blocks this video?
by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 01:42:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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